Forensic Science Intern (Unpaid Intern)

US Government, Sheriff/Coroner

Forensic Science Intern (Unpaid Internship)
Orange County Sheriff’s Department
 This recruitment is Open to the Public and
will close on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 11:59 P.M. PST

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is a modern, progressive law enforcement agency dedicated to protecting the peace and enhancing the quality of life for everyone in the County of Orange. The OC Crime Lab provides scientific support to the law enforcement agencies and criminal justice system in Orange County by applying sound scientific principles to the collection; by ensuring thorough evaluation and interpretation of physical evidence; and by providing expert testimony and scientific support whenever needed.

Duties may vary, depending on current project needs. Projects are usually related to technical method development, validation studies and reference material calibration or maintenance. Interns will not perform independent casework on evidence samples.

Assignments may provide experience related to the following activities:

  • Analysis of controlled substances and clandestine laboratory materials
  • Identification and comparison of evidence such as hair, fibers, paint, glass, fire debris, explosives and gunshot residues
  • Location and identification of body fluids, including DNA analysis
  • Firearms and tool marks analysis
  • Breath or blood alcohol analysis
  • Identification and quantification of drugs in blood, urine and tissue samples

Those applying for an internship with the crime laboratory are expected to have completed their second year at an accredited college or university prior to the start date of the internship and must be pursuing or have completed a bachelor’s degree in forensic science, chemistry, biochemistry, biology or a closely related laboratory scientific field

Minimum GPA requirement is 2.5.

Applicants must be familiar with basic scientific principles. Specific skill requirements will vary depending upon available projects.

Internships are primarily offered over the summer months, but can extend into the fall based on project and intern availability. Internships require 20 or more hours per week for 2 or more months.

In addition to hours required for initial orientation and training, individual project hours greatly vary depending on specific tasks and intern availability. Hours can be scheduled between 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Although this is an unpaid internship that does not guarantee employment or include employee benefits, the position offers participants an excellent experience in working within a large, full-service forensic laboratory. It also provides an opportunity for interns to explore career options, gain knowledge and skills that complement their academic studies, build resumes and network with professionals in the forensic science environment.

Candidates will need to upload a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcripts to be considered. Applications missing any of the these documents will not be considered.

Selected candidates will be interviewed by the project(s) leader and intern coordinator in February or March for summer placement.

  • The cover letter or letter of interest is an opportunity for applicants to describe career and academic goals and to elaborate upon personal interests/accomplishments related to the internship. Learn more about what to include in a cover letter HERE
  • The resume must include relevant education, work experiences and community involvement
  • The unofficial transcript(s) must include all undergraduate and any graduate coursework, except coursework in progress

Once an application is made, the selection process includes a review of application materials, an interview and a thorough background investigation.

Background investigations that can take three – four months to process will be conducted on applicants who have successfully interviewed for the internship and wish to pursue placement.

The background investigation includes a 60 – 90-minute pre-screen interview. The pre-screen interview for out-of-state applicants can be conducted by phone. An additional three-hour in-person interview and Livescan fingerprinting are also required.
The following documents will be completed by qualified applicants during the background investigation:

  • Civilian Personal History form, includes employment history & arrest record
  • Notarized Authorization to Release Information form

As part of the background investigation, applicants will be required to provide five references along with original copies of the following documents (Do NOT attach these documents to your application):

  • Birth certificate (original or certified copy) or if applicable, naturalization certificate/resident card (Passport is not accepted.)
  • Valid, state-issued driver’s license or ID
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of current automobile liability insurance coverage, listing applicant as an insured driver
  • Official college transcript(s)
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